Video: Broadcaster Vin Scully says: "Hold everything, forget the play. Forget the play." (LAD)
Video: One out, one swing—and an atypically long trialogue between umpires and both managers (MIA)
|Tichenor points at the infraction.|
Play: Welcome to Major League Baseball, where the unexpected is downright routine. To set the scene, with one out and runners at first and second base during the bottom of the 7th inning of Sunday's Marlins-Dodgers game, B1 Luis Cruz skied a 1-2 slider from Marlins pitcher Chad Gaudin to the infield's Bermuda Triangle between home plate, the pitcher's mound and first base. Immediately signaled as an "Infield fly, if Fair" by HP Umpire Tony Randazzo, 1B Umpire Todd Tichenor, 2B Umpire Brian Gorman and 3B Umpire Bob Davidson, Marlins catcher Rob Brantly and pitcher Gaudin ran toward the descending pop fly, while first baseman Carlos Lee made contact with Dodgers baserunner R1 Andre Ethier, with Tichenor pointing at the contact as if to call runner's interference. As the baseball glanced off Brantly's glove and into foul territory, plate umpire Randazzo signaled the ball fair while Tichenor raised his arm and pointed skyward, indicating the batter Cruz was out on the infield fly rule. Enjoined to run on his own peril and perhaps looking to capitalize on the confusion reigning along the right foul line, Ethier ran toward second base, causing R2 Adrian Gonzalez to sheepishly break for third, only to be tagged out upon arrival.
Or was he?
After a protest from Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, the umpires conferred and overturned their original ruling, Davidson signalling to Guillen that his presence was required on the field, as crew chief Gorman explained the umpires' call, initially returning Andre Ethier to first base, only to be removed after discussion with Guillen. The final verdict? The ball was foul, negating the infield fly rule's invocation, and Ethier was declared out for interference. Cruz returned to home plate with two outs, a 1-2 count and R2 Gonzalez on second base.
Did the umpires get this call right? Was Ethier correctly ruled out as Cruz was returned to the batter's box on a dead ball call? As Scully said, "Whenever you get into a bowl of spaghetti like this, it's best to back off & let the umpires put their heads together."
This is a group case play; participation is worth one point.
*Thanks to all participants: UEFL'ers cyclone14, Hitit2me, JeremyJ, Josh7377, kickersrule, NorthStarUmpire#2, nwsquid, RadioPearl, RichMSN, SJR, Spence 1222, TXWrangler, UmpAtty and distinguished guests Anonymous (x30?), Brett, cardshk, Chris, DMay, joe greco, LMS1953, Mike, Nate, SJR, wwjd, and Zac
2.00 [Fair Ball], 2.00 [Foul Ball], 2.00 [Infield Fly], 2.00 [Interference](a), 6.04, 6.05(e), 6.09(a), 7.08(b), 7.09(j)
Wrap: Marlins at Dodgers, 8/26/12